A few months ago, I met an old friend for dinner. The moment we sat down across from each other, she began to tell me what’s been transpiring in her life. My friend had been agonizing about something in her life for a few years now, and I was encouraging her to make some personal changes and see the bigger picture. She wasn’t able to see clearly since she was too focused on controlling everything and everybody involved.

The more I tried to tell her to surrender all desire to control, her anxiety increased; this was the exact opposite of what I intended. After a few stern glances my way, I knew she wanted me to keep quiet and listen.

I sat there reading her facial expressions and gave her the opportunity to be heard. Whenever she asked a question, I simply reassured her I understood, leaving my opinion out of it.

friends

I realized she had to go through the angst and frustration she was feeling. She had to gather all the information and decide what she believed was best for her, not what I would’ve done if I was in her shoes. It wasn’t easy seeing her go through so many emotions in one short time, but this is her path, not mine.

At the end of our meal, I hugged her and prayed that she received the clarity and ultimately the resolution she was seeking. I encouraged her to reach out to me if she needed someone to vent.

I reached out to her during the holidays. In those few minutes, she confirmed nothing has changed.

I have not heard from her since.

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29 thoughts on “An Old Friend

  1. I think that’s an awesome approach. And to be honest, it’s something much easier for women. Men are wired to instantly want to solve a problem, whereas with women, it’s about unloading and emotional release…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Everyone is able to make a change in their lives. The big thing is being willing to make a change, but that takes courage. As you said this is her path. Perhaps she is not strong enough yet. Just be there for her, offer friendship and love and be honest. When she is ready, if she is ready she will make whatever changes she feels is best for her, and you will be there for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. People are really good at solving their own problems when they have someone like yourself to listen to them, non -judgemently. Ultimatly a person will make a decision about waht to do with their life- we can’t control other peoples decisions. I think you were a good friend to her. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ‘ I simply reassured her I understood, leaving my opinion out of it’…This is a powerful choice that sometimes I have to be reminded of …Being there for someone sometimes means just that …just being there …when they are ready they will come back with open ears and heart …until then it is my turn to have open ears and heart. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sometimes people just want to be heard..I think when you met her first she needed to be heard, and it was nice you did give him all your attention.. Rest, we can only wish..

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Its so hard when we see the way to clarity and peace, but the other person isn’t ready. We have to let them find their own way.
    Its an important lesson for us to let go of advising or trying to fix (which is trying to control the outcome) and to offer empathy and understanding instead.
    I recall very clearly a similar incidence … and years of practice to open my heart to simply being there 💛

    Liked by 4 people

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